Contrary to speculations that Russian President Vladimir Putin would rule the country for his lifetime, he may have plans to step down as early as January next year amid fears that he may have Parkinson's, a report has claimed. The 68-year-old Russian strongman has symptoms of Parkinson's disease, Kremlin watcher and Moscow political scientist Professor Valery Solovei has claimed, reported The US Sun.
The problem could be severe as his long-time girlfriend Alina Kavaeva, 37, is reportedly pleading him to lose some control over the power to focus on his health. His daughters Maria Vorontsova, 35, and Katerina Tikhonova, 34, are also understood to have been persuading the Russian President to hang his boots. "There is a family, it has a great influence on him. He intends to make public his handover plans in January," Solovei told the US daily.
Observers, who analysed his recent footage, believe he appeared to be in pain as he held the armrest of a chair. His legs also appeared to be in constant motion. Other signs like twitching fingers while holding a pen or a cup point towards the fact that he may be suffering from some health complication.
Russia is apparently drafting rules to make him a senator for life once he resigns from the highest office in the country. This has also fuelled widespread speculation that Putin's 20-year-old reign -- second only to Joseph Stalin -- could be nearing an end. The law, which is being pushed by Putin himself, will guarantee him immunity from any kind of prosecution and ensure state perks until his death.
The rumours also say he could soon appoint a prime minister who would eventually be groomed to become his successor. Though the president can regularly be seen engaging in al sorts of physical activities like playing ice hockey, hunting, shooting and horse riding, skeptics believe it may just be a facade to hide health complications. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov has, meanwhile, junked the rumours, saying the practice of appointing a president a senator for life is being applied across the world and that it's quite justified.